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Iran Still Using Foreign Flags to Bypass Sanctions, U.S. Warns (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 07/20/12) Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/158066#.UAjaY2Fo2uk
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The United States warned the maritime industry on Thursday that Iranian ships were still using other countriesí flags in an attempt to evade Western sanctions against the country.
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Reuters reported that Sierra Leone is the latest country to revoke its flag for a vessel controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which is on the U.S. blacklist for its involvement in Iran´s weapons program.
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The United States and the European Union have implemented tough sanctions against Iran in an attempt to stop the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.
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The U.S. penalties forced Iran´s major trading partners to reduce their Iranian crude imports. The EU enacted a ban from July 1 on insuring ships carrying Iranian oil that has also crimped Tehran´s oil exports.
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The United States said port authorities should be on the lookout for fabricated vessel registration and phony flags, according to the Reuters report.
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Iran has been forced to shut off wells in its expansive oil fields, as Western sanctions reduce Tehran´s vital crude oil exports by as much as 30%.
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Tehran´s current production levels to lows not seen in more than two decades, which has cost Iran billions in lost revenues.
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In an attempt to sidestep the EU sanctions, Iran has offered to insure any foreign ships that enter its waters. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011 07/20/12)
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